Can my employer change what I put down for my time on my timesheet?

I don’t try and account for any extra time. When I first started working for this HVAC company, only employee, he mentioned that we don’t get paid for the ride back from jobs because we can’t charge the customer that. Since then, I’ve read into my rights a bit and since I drive a company vehicle, from the last job until the I park the vehicle at the shop, I should be paid. Would I also need to account for the time to fill out paperwork after I arrive at the shop? However, the last few checks have been a couple hours short, I haven’t asked him about it because he’s been hard to talk to or get along with lately. I’ve seen on a couple of my time worksheets that he will write next to/edit the total hours I’ve worked for that day after I’ve turned it in. Is he able to edit my time without informing me or giving me the reason? I’ve been waiting to bring it up until I have all of the facts.

Asked on March 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Mississippi


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An employer can modify an employee's timesheet only if they have a good faith belief that it was not accurately filled out. For example, the employee billed for hours that they did not in fact work and the employer has prooof of this. Otherwise, for an employer to adjust a timesheet to short a worker for hours legitimately worked, is illegal and they can be subject to steep fines and other penalties. At this point, if you cannot get your employer to pay you what you are owed, you can either file a wage claim with your state's department of labor or consult directly with a local employment law attorney. In the meantime, you should send a polite email to your boss indicating that you feel that your pay was shorted and why. Therefore, you will have a written statement showing that you complained about a violation of your rights. If you are then retaliated against you for making such a complaint, you may have a case for wrongful termination or wrongful retaliation.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

An employer cannot edit or change an employee time sheet unless he or she has evidence that the time is wrong--for example, if from a security camera, GPS device, alarm log, etc., he knows that an employee was not at work when the employee claims to have been, then the employer can adjust the time. But it requires evidence to make this change legally, since an employer's obligation under the law is to keep accurate and complete time records: therefore, since the employee generally has a better idea of when he/she worked than the employer does, the employer cannot modify it without proof to the contrary.

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